Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn is For Apples

Since today is the first day of autumn I'm thinking about two of our great apple products from La Provencale Cellars.

We found out about La Provencale Cellars at a wine festival. It was a very hot day. We had been tasting wine and came upon this sparkling apple cider company. What a refreshing delight. You may have had sparkling apple cider in the past and say all cider is the same. That is not true. This sparkling apple cider is a blend of seven different apple varieties to create an elegant, dry, sophisticated cider reminiscent of those in western France. The blend includes Granny Smith for crisp freshness, Macintosh for its distinctive apple aromatic and taste components, Jonathan for the cinnamon and nutmeg overtones, Fuji for its juicy sweetness, along with others to round out the blend. Carbonation is the final addition to create a fresh fruity beverage that is at home in a champagne flute on its own or with dinner. The sparking cider was named Le Mousseux, French for the bubbles or the effervescence, and became an instant hit as an alternative beverage to serve in a wine glass or flute with dinner. Sparkling apple cider is also perfect for family occasions, for kids or those wanting a non-alcoholic beverage choice. The Virginia Marketplace sell Le Mousseux by itself and in gift baskets. (UPDATE: Le Mousseux is no longer produced)

We have also enjoyed their Apple Grilling Glaze as well on pork and chicken. It is appleious. The Apple Grilling Glaze is not too sweet or too vinegarized. There are so many ways they recommend using it. It is perfect as a plate dressing in a simply prepared dinner, such as a covering for sautéed chicken breast. Youngsters can top their chicken nuggets with Grilling Glaze. You can mix it with breadcrumbs and whole cranberries for a stuffing or paint a fresh ham before baking. It makes baby back ribs delicious and is superb on a pork sandwich. They recommend adding it to meat on the grill during the last few minutes (almost no fat content in the Glaze - you don't want scorching), or painting it on a casserole creation at the beginning of baking. It is also a great bread spread for a meat sandwich. The Virginia Marketplace sells apple grilling glaze by itself and in gift baskets.

Here is some information on La Provencale Cellars..
Tom Rodriguez was convinced that Virginia apples could produce sparkling apple ciders as fruity and complex as the ones he enjoyed in Brittany and Normandy. After retirement from an international champagne, wine and spirits house, he designed a business to market the effervescent apple cider he remembered. During twenty years of corporate division management and marketing, he traveled regularly throughout the middle Atlantic region tracing many miles through the apple orchards of northwestern Virginia. His background expertise in champagne and sparkling wine led him to consider high acid level of eastern apple production - the same level of acidity being one of the factors that make good sparkling wines. His proprietary cuvee of several orchard varietals was infused with bubbles to create Le Mousseux, a gourmet sparkling apple cider - a non-alcoholic festive favorite.Apple spreads, based on memories of his grandmother's cooking were a natural extension of the product line. His West Virginia grandmother's handwritten recipes and notes in the margin of her cookbook were the source of his fruit combinations. The huge cook pots over an outside fire are gone, but the home-cooked flavors are wonderful.

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